Friday, October 21, 2011

ETA publicly renounces violence

Members of the Basque separatist group ETA have publicly declared the "definitive cessation of armed activity" in a video message released to the media today (BBC News). The news of the end of the 40 year conflict was welcomed by Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who said it was a 'victory over terror'.

ETA has publicly declared ceasefires on numerous occasions in the past, however, many believe that this time the decision is much more serious, as ETA members have officially called for a transition to peaceful methods.

Over the years, ETA has organized many terrorist attacks in Spain and France, which claimed the lives of nearly 800 people. Zapatero hoped that this declaration would bring some peace to the victims' families.

It remains unclear why the Basque group decided to cease its armed activities after so many years. Nonetheless, ETA members declared in a public statement that they faced "a historic opportunity to obtain a just and democratic solution to the age-old political conflict" (BBC News).

Masked ETA members declare their permanent ceasefire - Reuters

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